Understanding E-textiles and Wearable Robotics

Senior STEM Camp for Years 3 to 11

4-8 April 2022: Face to Face at Marlborough Primary School,

Draycott Avenue, Kensington and Chelsea, SW3 3AP


In this new and inspiring STEM camp young minds will be introduced to wearable robotics and e-textiles, learning what they are and how they work. Wearable robotic devices are designed to help and increase human ability, often by providing assistance to damaged limbs or with the rehabilitation of neuromuscular impairments. A key learning point is that wearable robots react to human movement using information received from gyroscopes and accelerometers and processed through computer programmes. On this camp participants will complete their own robotics project (which has been developed specifically for this camp by LondonSMP’s R&D team) which they can take home.

To understand how robots work, children will also discover how programming controls the actions and independence of robots, with daily classes in programming and the maths subjects relating to programming. These go far beyond the school curriculum. The camp offers children the chance to learn science, technology, programming and mathematics and to understand how they relate to each other.

Whether your child is already a confident programmer or just starting out, we will create the most appropriate small study group for them, based on their age and experience, with a pupil to teacher ratio of six to one. Each group of participants is taught in their own separate classroom to maximise the learning opportunity.

In Robotics, Programming and Electronics, younger pupils will be working on an electronics project to create an ‘intelligent yo-yo’ which has a disk that twists horizontally. The disk will have four LEDs on it which will illuminate in different ways depending on whether the yo-yo is going up or down. The final dynamic will be eye-catching and unusual, not least because the project is unique to LondonSMP’s R&D department and this is the first time we have run it! Participants will be able to take their project home with them. 

Older pupils will study wearable robotics by creating and programming their own interactive LED wristband. This is a wearable electronics project where pupils learn the basic principles of wearable devices and make a real wristband with an interactive LED strip. When the end-user moves their hand the LED colours of the band are affected by the movement and change accordingly.

The progressive stages of the project are:

  • pupils learn the basic principles of wearable devices: how they track a human’s position and movements and which electrical components are required to achieve this
  • the working theory of gyroscopes and accelerometers will be demonstrated, taught and understood
  • moving from theory to implementation, pupils will learn how to fit these components into tiny devices and how to operate with them
  • to make a first test pupils will learn how to create a development pipeline for electronics and robotics using an Arduino platform and practice with basic programming steps in the Aduino C programming language
  • pupils will define variables in different scopes, use maths operators and various data types and work with conditions and Boolean logic, loops and liner counters
  • next they will practice operations using an MPU6050 Module to control the LED strip before assembling the actual wristband
  • finally, pupils will learn how to write an algorithm that transfers hand movements detected by the gyroscope and accelerometer and converts them to LED colours. In this step, pupils use linear interpolation and to make the lights operate using linear counters

The Programming, Robotics and Electronics curriculum for this camp has been devised by Dr Pavel Orlov. Pavel holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Eastern Finland and has authored more than 50 academic papers. At Imperial College, within the Dyson School of Design Engineering, Pavel developed a system to teach programming in augmented reality. Pavel’s academic interests include human-computer and human-robot interaction, including writing software to help people with physical disabilities perform daily tasks using ‘gaze patterns’. In 2018 Pavel was appointed Head of R&D and Learning in Robotics at LondonSMP.


In Maths, we will explore the world of Numbers - odd, prime, negative, rational, square, infinite decimals, phoenix, all the way to Combinatorics. By year groups, participants will study: 

Years 3-6 

How many types of numbers are there? Odd numbers, prime numbers, negative numbers, rational numbers, square numbers – this is just a tiny part of a very long list. We will explore different contexts in which these and other types of numbers arise and solve problems related to basic number theory. In the optional 9am Problem Solving lessons, pupils will be offered challenging problems from the UK and international maths contests suitable for their age. 

Year 7-9 

How did scribes of ancient Egypt calculate for thousands of years? How remote tribes in Java used their bodies for counting? How did Babylonians change our view on numbers? What is an infinite decimal? We travel to the past to understand the present better and start a journey to the future learning how to organise symmetries, create the times table of a symmetry-group, work in a finite number field and understand the language of modern secret codes. In the optional Problem Solving lessons, we will look at questions from history and from UKMT challenges about fractions and modular arithmetic as well as Combinatorial problems where symmetry is involved. 

Year 10-11 

What is an infinite decimal? When is it recurring? What is a phoenix number? Come and travel to infinity and beyond to understand the finite better. We will show pupils how to organise symmetries, create the times table of a symmetry-group, work in a finite number field and understand the language of modern secret codes. In the optional Problem Solving lessons, we will tackle hard puzzles about numbers and their digits, Combinatorial problems where symmetry is involved and modular arithmetic in action.


Format and fees for the senior face to face camp:

  • pupil to teacher ratio of 6:1
  • participants are taught in small groups, tailored by similarity of age and ability, in individual classrooms
  • camp times: 10am to 3pm
  • or from 9am for an extra hour of problem solving and/or from 3pm to 4pm with our chess class. There is a supplement of £25 for each additional session booked
  • fees are £585 for five days. It is not possible to join for a shorter period 
Places are limited, please register your interest HERE.